July 4 brings boom, bang, blast
The July 4 holiday weekend will feature three nights of professional pyrotechnics on local shores and a parade punctuated with the Anna Maria Island Privateers’ trademark canon-booms.
On July 3, the Privateers’ July 4 parade will take place, beginning at about 10 a.m. at Coquina Beach and traveling north on Anna Maria Island, mostly along Gulf and Marina drives, before traveling east on Pine Avenue to the Anna Maria City Pier.
The Privateers will continue to accept parade entries until about 9:30 a.m. July 3, when staging is required at Coquina Beach.
“Last year’s final count was 128 applications,” said parade coordinator Tim “Hammer” Thompson, adding that applications were lagging this year, possibly because entrants are scrambling to adjust to a date change for the parade — from July 4 to July 3.
Entry is free. “The Privateers motto is ‘Kids and Community,’ so this is just one of the things we do to support the three communities and all the business and individuals we hound all year for donations,” Hammer said.
“The parade is free to all participants. It’s our way of saying ‘thanks’ and bring people to our Island to enjoy the Fourth of July.”
Following the parade, the Privateers will hold a lunch and party at Cafe on the Beach at the Manatee Public Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach.
There the group will present more than $25,000 in college scholarships.
The party will take place from about noon to 4 p.m.
“Everyone is welcome to be in the parade, watch the parade and be at Cafe on the Beach following the parade,” Hammer said. “We’re celebrating the good old U.S. of A.”
The holiday festivities will begin with fireworks Friday, July 2, on Longboat Key at the Mar Vista Dockside Restaurant, 760 Broadway St.
Longboat Key’s fireworks are co-sponsored by Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant, Cannons Marina, the Longboat Observer and Longboat Key Club.
On July 3, in Bradenton Beach, the BeachHouse Restaurant will present a fireworks show shortly after 9 p.m.
The restaurant will hold an Independence Day party, but many celebrants will watch the display on the beach nearby.
On Sunday, July 4, the Sandbar Restaurant, 100 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, will present a fireworks show shortly after 9 p.m.
The display will take place near the restaurant, which will host a party.
For more information about the fireworks, call the Sandbar at 941-778-8710.
For more information about the parade, call Thompson at 941-780-1668 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.